As I auditioned the Rheingold (2008) video, a number of things quickly crossed my mind. I thought about Middle-East politics and the volatile but perpetually explosive dilemma facing Israel and the kind of peaceful coexistence it no doubt will eventually take for lasting peace involving its combative geopolitical neighbors. I thought about the Kruger National Wildlife Preserve in South Africa and the challenges hunters face there each day in trying to bring down the Big 5 involving the elephant, lion, leopard, white rhino, and buffalo as part of the country’s most elusive but challenging wildlife game. And I thought about the late Steve Jobs of Apple and the incredible collaboration it must have taken to position the company as one of the leading technology firms on Planet Earth. In all of these instances, I thought about the insightful examples posited by Rheingold (2008) and the underlying video message of collaboration as a powerful component of advancement and success.
I don’t think there’s much question that collaboration is likely to play a major role in getting more computers into the home. As a communication instructor, I know that television remains the most powerful medium in modern society, but all of that will probably change during the next decade as more computers make their way into homes. Kuriyan and Ray (2008) found in a UC-Berkeley study on information and communication technologies that the power of expansion involving these technologies lies with poor and economically impoverished families. I couldn’t agree more. Like television – and before TV when there was just radio – the more sets that came into homes in the 1940s, the more powerful TV became and the greater its medium reach. It took the collaboration of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in 1948 to form a national television network system, which continues to thrive today, thanks to the subsequent addition of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1953, the Fox Television Network and cable proliferation in 1980s, which has given information and entertainment a major communication transformation.
But the credit must go to collaboration, as Rheingold (2008) pointed out in his praiseworthy collaboration video. Taking the experiences, knowledge, and constructive behavior of people who put this knowledge to effective use is understandably the right way to go about getting something done. While it’s all couched in constructivism and meaningful behavior, it does epitomize not only what works, but what works best.
Kuriyan, R., & Ray, I. (2008). Information and communication technologies for development:
The bottom of the pyramid model in practice. The Information Society, 24: 93-104.
Rheingold, H. (2008, February). Howard Rheingold on collaboration [Video file]. Retrieved